The defense claims David Davis was angry when his new wife brought her son to live with them in November 2010, and alleges Davis told a co-worker 12-year-old Jonathan Foster was the root of all his problems.
On Wednesday the boy’s mother said she left Davis in 2010 after he hit the boy.
“David Davis did not like Jonathan Foster. When he moved in it changed between he and his wife,” said defense attorney Allen Tanner, last Tuesday.
But on the stand Thursday afternoon, Davis denied all of it, saying he never struck the boy, but only knocked his cap off his head while disciplining him for rough housing.
Davis said after Angela and her son moved out he wanted her back, and still saw them both. He last saw Jonathan the afternoon he disappeared , Christmas Eve, 2010.
“I told him I loved him and I’d see him in a little bit. His mom was on the way home,” Davis said.
However, Jonathan Foster was never seen alive again. Four days later his burned body was found in a ditch a few miles away.
Davis said he believes Mona Nelson last saw the boy alive because neighbors described seeing a truck like her’s outside the apartment after he left.
Davis said he loved the boy and was honored when Jonathan asked permission to call him father.
Nelson is charged with capital murder, but she is not facing the death penalty because prosecutors aren't seeking it.
The case is not being heard by a jury. Nelson elected to let Judge Jeanine Barr determine guilt.